Red Arrows and RLC Silver Stars Army Parachute Display Team delight Carrickfergus
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council was flying the flag in support of Armed Forces Day with Carrickfergus leading the regional celebrations at the weekend.
Armed Forces Day is an annual event in the United Kingdom held in late June to celebrate the service, resilience and courage of personnel in the British Armed forces past and present.
As in previous years, the flag was hoisted on Saturday, June 19 at a civic ceremony by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of County Antrim, David McCorkell.
He was joined by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor William McCaughey, along with representatives of the Armed Forces, aldermen and councillors.
Gun salutes were carried out at Carrickfergus Castle by 206 (Ulster) Battery Royal Artillery, while the RLC Silver Stars Army Parachute Display Team carried out a jump with the castle as a backdrop.
The event also saw a ‘fly past’ by the Royal Air Force’s iconic Red Arrows, to the delight of many spectators below.
One of the world’s premier aerobatic display teams, the Red Arrows have been displaying since 1965.
Piloting distinctive Hawk fast-jets, the team displays a trademark Diamond Nine shape with a combination of close formations and precision flying.
The unit is based at RAF Scrampton in Lincolnshire and by the beginning of 2021, had flown almost 5,000 displays in 57 countries.
Commenting on the Armed Forces Day celebrations, the Mayor said: “Mid and East Antrim Borough has a long and proud connection with our Armed Forces. It is a prestigious honour for our council to be hosting this year’s flagship event and to lead the region in paying tribute to those who serve their country.
“Armed Forces Day gives the nation an opportunity to ‘show their support’ for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, from currently serving troops to service families, through to veterans and cadets.
“For us, maintaining the links between our borough and the military is incredibly important.
“It is also very reassuring for the serving military personnel who are from Mid and East Antrim to know that their families at home are being warmly supported by our local communities.”
Cllr McCaughey continued: “To mark Armed Forces Day, council have worked closely with the Armed Forces as we join in with the rest of the United Kingdom in saying a collective thank you to our Armed Forces personnel.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is looking forward to hosting another Northern Ireland regional Armed Forces Day event in the near future.”
While hundreds gathered on land for the celebrations in the town, activities were also taking place on the water as part of a programme by the Sea Cadets.
Included in a variety of activities for the cadets were naval skills such as navigation, helmsmanship and ‘man overboard’ drills.
Click here to read: Belfast Lough Swim: Intrepid eight to take challenge from Grey Point to Carrick
Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. Please consider purchasing a copy of the paper. You can also support trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription of the News Letter.